Although the landscapes within Montezuma Castle National Monument may appear harsh and unchanging, the desert ecosystem is continually evolving. Weather, climatic shifts, and geologic processes continue to shape this environment as they have for millennia. More recently, human-caused factors such as air, noise, and water pollution, as well as introduced species, have had a much greater impact on natural resources world-wide. The undeveloped landscapes of Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well provide an ideal place to study how various environmental factors affect desert ecosystems, and predict what changes might be expected in the future.
Did You Know?
No fish? Due to concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide nearly 600 times higher than other natural aquatic environments, Montezuma Well contains no fish. Instead, the collapsed limestone sinkhole has a unique aquatic habitat that is home to organisms found nowhere else in the world.